Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Cars 2 is Stuck in Neutral

Plus, Bad Teacher doesn't quite pass the test.

by | June 24, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got animated autos (Cars 2, with voice work from Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy) and execrable educators (Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake). What do the critics have to say?



Cars 2

40%

Pixar’s output has been so good for so long that it seemed unfathomable that one of the studio’s films would get a less-than-rapturous response from critics. Well, all good things must come to an end, and that now includes Pixar’s streak of Certified Fresh releases; critics say Cars 2 looks fantastic, but the studio’s trademark storytelling prowess and character development is MIA here, and the result is a decent animated feature that must count as a big disappointment, given the standards that Pixar has set for itself. This time out, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is off to a big international race with his best buddy Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) in, ahem, tow. Soon, though Mater finds himself in the middle of a secret espionage mission. Will he still be able to help Lightning in his quest to be the fastest car in the world? The pundits say Cars 2 is visually delightful, but its plot is uninspired, and it’s over reliant on gags and shtick instead of an interesting story. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run though Pixar’s filmography in chronological order.)



Bad Teacher

45%

There’s no shortage of tasteless Hollywood comedies in the world, but it’s rare that a movie gets criticized for not being tasteless enough. However, such is the case with Bad Teacher, which critics say has moments of raunchy hilarity but doesn’t quite fulfill its outrageous premise. Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth, a boozy, wildly inappropriate middle school teacher who’s looking for a sugar daddy so she can leave her job behind. Elizabeth falls for a hunky substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake), but she’s got a rival for his affections, and soon, her scheming and bad behavior starts to affect the whole school. The pundits say Bad Teacher benefits from a sharp performance from Diaz, but it sags in spots, and it’s never quite as wild and transgressive as it should be.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

cancelled TV shows versus Trailer MTV based on movie Paramount Plus Avengers hidden camera ABC Family Image Comics spider-man japan spanish language Stephen King streaming GoT chucky comic books marvel cinematic universe Crunchyroll criterion serial killer Creative Arts Emmys new zealand Schedule TV Land Comic-Con@Home 2021 historical drama critic resources 20th Century Fox mission: impossible The Arrangement Nominations USA Network Comedy CBS Valentine's Day Emmys Tokyo Olympics Apple TV+ Horror Mudbound ITV royal family Paramount Network Epix DirecTV TCA Winter 2020 First Look composers sitcom black sag awards science fiction Extras obituary book Warner Bros. cars richard e. Grant police drama comiccon National Geographic indiana jones psychological thriller jamie lee curtis TruTV Showtime movie CBS All Access crime thriller Universal Reality Competition japanese TBS TCA talk show live action E3 kaiju Pirates independent Hallmark Spring TV Funimation X-Men sequel stop motion stand-up comedy Peacock USA politics Freeform Netflix comic Discovery Channel kong VH1 Bravo dramedy Syfy BBC America Sony Pictures Nickelodeon The Walt Disney Company video on demand TIFF Apple TV Plus PaleyFest razzies Winter TV action-comedy reboot Set visit joker hist GIFs classics 21st Century Fox AMC breaking bad TNT true crime rotten movies we love social media Action Fantasy james bond San Diego Comic-Con Lucasfilm zombie RT21 A24 NYCC fast and furious nfl olympics archives FOX Winners Pacific Islander posters Holidays TV renewals blaxploitation WGN VOD adventure Pop TV FXX anthology TLC young adult Shondaland rotten Elton John hispanic screenings die hard Family Photos Music debate PBS Dark Horse Comics Star Trek SundanceTV Food Network MSNBC tv talk Cartoon Network cults twilight travel 2017 Infographic ViacomCBS Video Games binge OWN DC streaming service Biopics Disney streaming service golden globes TCA Awards satire superhero teaser Disney Channel HBO Go Rock docuseries award winner harry potter 73rd Emmy Awards high school documentaries fresh Amazon Prime Video 2020 Rocketman BET Awards Mary Tyler Moore ABC Signature Reality docudrama Awards Lionsgate Broadway new york Wes Anderson revenge 45 adaptation werewolf Crackle 2021 Podcast south america Heroines thriller crime drama DGA halloween universal monsters superman Tarantino Netflix Christmas movies robots zombies comedies indie psycho Western stoner a nightmare on elm street parents Comic Book vampires basketball YA Marvel Television cancelled television Film Festival spinoff marvel comics Columbia Pictures documentary gangster HBO Max The Academy TCA 2017 Trivia slasher target Superheroe king kong Watching Series History news Vudu APB Pet Sematary mcc all-time DC Comics Best and Worst cops CW Seed cancelled TV series romantic comedy jurassic park Starz Polls and Games mockumentary Election Kids & Family space boxoffice prank Walt Disney Pictures french Masterpiece rt archives Academy Awards sports rt labs Baby Yoda Marvel Marvel Studios ESPN know your critic E! FX on Hulu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina worst facebook football The CW Amazon BET MCU Emmy Nominations Hulu LGBT feel good RT History Spike christmas movies Cannes franchise comics italian dceu Marathons YouTube Premium Fox Searchlight Ovation TCM New York Comic Con Sundance Now period drama concert Hear Us Out The Purge 71st Emmy Awards Brie Larson Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BAFTA lord of the rings Christmas child's play slashers Trophy Talk Thanksgiving Sneak Peek boxing worst movies reviews Musicals scary movies Classic Film aapi 93rd Oscars laika supernatural emmy awards President cooking new star wars movies doctor who Comedy Central Mary poppins TV movies anime 4/20 rt labs critics edition ghosts Pride Month dogs Summer Musical Captain marvel Martial Arts wonder woman Apple witnail Year in Review diversity latino Lifetime Christmas movies 007 australia American Society of Cinematographers Television Critics Association Lifetime war political drama foreign rom-coms comic book movies telelvision Black History Month Character Guide dark finale Country suspense YouTube Red Esquire Superheroes women 24 frames Acorn TV Holiday Turner Classic Movies YouTube blockbusters The Walking Dead Countdown Calendar name the review casting Toys Mystery Quiz Spectrum Originals television NBC comic book movie renewed TV shows 2016 Comics on TV BBC One DC Universe toronto ABC Endgame Britbox The Witch Alien Interview Black Mirror strong female leads monster movies spy thriller Paramount book adaptation Ghostbusters Logo biopic king arthur Women's History Month quibi hispanic heritage month Amazon Studios zero dark thirty 1990s Disney Plus cancelled cats Disney halloween tv LGBTQ canceled TV shows Nat Geo Box Office Rom-Com spain asian-american transformers Film golden globe awards CMT Legendary WarnerMedia directors Chernobyl international Mary Poppins Returns miniseries Cosplay Awards Tour PlayStation cartoon FX Teen TV green book Certified Fresh canceled discovery Disney+ Disney Plus biography romance 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Fox News SDCC deadpool screen actors guild Drama Television Academy IFC Films 99% Tubi CNN Sundance TV legend Star Wars First Reviews theme song festival justice league toy story aliens 2018 2019 mutant Adult Swim heist movie Mindy Kaling Pixar films See It Skip It Ellie Kemper streaming movies Rocky ratings scene in color adenture Writers Guild of America Amazon Prime trailers batman cinemax nature Arrowverse Tumblr Tomatazos Super Bowl Opinion Travel Channel Anna Paquin series Sundance elevated horror crime Turner 72 Emmy Awards technology pirates of the caribbean OneApp critics Pop crossover NBA 2015 free movies HBO kids blockbuster unscripted GLAAD Sci-Fi sequels 90s Song of Ice and Fire Exclusive Video game of thrones movies saw dragons Grammys Hallmark Christmas movies ID El Rey remakes venice Red Carpet A&E dexter SXSW BBC godzilla natural history Fall TV popular Oscars nbcuniversal best singing competition Binge Guide disaster dc festivals game show spanish TV One what to watch VICE Shudder Animation animated Premiere Dates scorecard video IFC children's TV hollywood medical drama